Move over Mo & co, Cal’s com­ing through

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Comment - ANDY CAL­TON ED­I­TOR

You don’t have to be mad to be a Mo­togp rider, but ac­tu­ally you do! Cal Crutchlow is ar­guably the most nor­mal, down-to-earth bloke in the Mo­togp mad­house and yet he most cer­tainly has a few cogs work­ing in a dif­fer­ent way to the man in the street.

To win, to be suc­cess­ful at the very top of mo­tor­cy­cle rac­ing, your brain has to work in a cer­tain way. A way that al­lows you to get back on a bike af­ter crash­ing at 200mph and go even faster the very next lap. Cal’s in­cred­i­ble vic­tory in Brno is the re­sult of six years bloody hard graft in Mo­togp. He’s seen more than his fair share of pain and suf­fer­ing – in some ways he’s given more and strug­gled more than some of his more es­teemed col­leagues.

Never quite on the best bike on the grid, he’s put in­fe­rior ma­chin­ery on the podium an in­cred­i­ble 10 times and of­ten mixed it with the so­called Aliens. And he’s suf­fered for his art. He’s crashed a bonecrush­ing 92 times over his 98race Mo­togp cam­paign and tops the charts with 16 tum­bles so far in 2016 as he tries ev­ery­thing in and out of his con­trol to make the RC213V com­pet­i­tive. Some­thing only Supreme Alien Marc Mar­quez seems to have man­aged this year.

Crutchlow pulls no punches on or off the track and that’s why to many he’s a bit of a love-hi­mor-loathe him char­ac­ter. But that’s what makes him spe­cial, funny, ex­cit­ing, un­pre­dictable, chal­leng­ing and bril­liant. He has suc­ceeded where so many in­cred­i­ble Bri­tish rid­ers have failed.

Of course, he should get a gold medal to re­flect his ser­vices to Bri­tish sport. Of course, he should be men­tioned in the same breath as Mo Farah, Bradley Wig­gins and Andy Mur­ray when vot­ing for the BBC Sports Per­son­al­ity starts soon. He won’t win the BBC gong... es­pe­cially as the Beeb doesn’t show Mo­togp any­more, but we need to start bom­bard­ing the BBC with emails de­mand­ing his in­clu­sion in the short­list – and then it’s a pub­lic vote. And, of course, there’s plenty more fun and games to come from Cal. Let’s pray for rain and an­other slice of his­tory at Sil­ver­stone in a week’s time.

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